Criminal profiling is the art of using evidence and crime scenes to deduce who the criminal is and where the criminals might be going next. In addition, criminal profiling is also used to link cases together with like victims. While its usage in law enforcement is relatively new, forms of the art have been around for decades. This thesis researches the history, ideology, and evolution of criminal profiling from the early 1870s to its current state. Cesare Lombroso and his research founded criminal profiling by examining how criminals and their minds vary from law-abiding citizens. Following Lombroso, various forms of research were conducted to further criminal profiling into the much more tangible craft that it is today. Various researchers looked into differing aspects of criminal profiling and produced research that has revolutionized the process. In its earliest stages, biological factors were the primary factors considered to explain why criminals behave differently. However, over time, sociological, environmental, and even psychological factors have been shown to play a part in this volatile recipe. While the process of criminal profiling is not perfect, the advancements in our understanding of the human psyche, along with the evolution of technology, have caused criminal profiling to become much more of a refined art today than in years past. Further, there is reason to believe that the future of profiling will continue to evolve and become even more helpful as a tool for law enforcement. Law enforcement has begun to assemble big data, and informaticians have started to link social media posts, criminal confinements, and online purchases to criminally deviant and violent behavior.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Holmes, Stephen


Bachelor Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Criminal Justice



Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date